The awards from the Catalan Government recognise researchers in the Catalan university system
The ICREA Acadèmia 2018 programme by the Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies has recognised two URV researchers for a further five years. One is the researcher from the Department of Computer and Mathematical Engineering, Josep Domingo-Ferrer, who already received the award in 2008 and 2013. The other is Eduard Llobet, from the Department of Electronic, Electrical and Automatic Engineering, who received it in 2012.
Josep Domingo Ferrer is director of the UNESCO Chair of Data Privacy and, since December 2015, is the academic director of the Serra Húnter Plan. The professor’s fields of research are privacy and data security, specifically the creation of technologies that can reconcile security, privacy and functionality in the information society. He directs the CRISES security and data privacy group of the URV. The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the world’s leading IT entity with over 100,000 members, recognised the professor as one of 45 distinguished scientists in 2016 for his contributions in the field of computing and for the great advances that his work contributes to scientific discovery. He also leads the Cibercat project, the Catalan centre for cybersecurity research that brings together groups from six Catalan universities.
For his part, Professor Eduard Llobet Valero is a doctor in telecommunications from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia and has been professor at the URV since 2009, where he teaches at the School of Engineering. Professor Llobet is working on the development of sensory systems for the selective detection of gases using nanomaterials, and has been invited on numerous occasions to carry out research stays in France and Japan. Llobet Valero is the most cited scholar in Spain within the field of Instruments and Instrumentation. Since last January, he has been editor-in-chief of the Sensors-MDPI journal, which provides a space for discussion about advances in science and technology for sensors and biosensors. At the URV, he coordinates the research group MINOS, Microsystems and Nanotechnologies for Chemical Analysis.
Dedication to research
The ICREA Acadèmia Programme aims to encourage and reward the research excellence of the doctoral teaching and research staff (PDI) with permanent ties to the Catalan public universities. The programme seeks to help them intensify and expand their research activity. This way, it is hoped that researchers can devote themselves fully to their research and that research talent can be retained within the Catalan university system. Over the course of five years, researchers awarded under the ICREA Acadèmia programme receive 16,000 euros gross a year and the universities of the selected researchers receive 4,000 euros a year to manage the programme and a further 20,000 euros per year. These are intended to finance the recruitment of staff to help reduce the workload of the awardee or to help them in tasks related to their research activity.
The 2018 ICREA Acadèmia awards are the tenth edition of the programme after it was paused at the end of 2017 due to the application of Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution. This year, 45 professors have been recognised in the following disciplines: experimental and mathematical sciences (9), engineering sciences (11), life sciences and medicine (9), humanities (7), and social sciences and behaviour (9). With this latest round of awards there are now 274 researchers who have obtained the ICREA Acadèmia qualification in Catalan universities. To be eligible for the ICREA Acadèmia distinctions, the teaching and research staff (PDI) of the public universities of Catalonia need to have a doctoral degree, a permanent and full-time contract with a public university in Catalonia and they must be teaching regularly.
Currently, the URV has five other researchers who have been awarded the ICREA distinction: one in 2016, Alex Arenas; three in 2015, Montserrat Diéguez, Sergio Nasarre and Josep Maria Poblet; and one in 2014, Lluís Marsal.